Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gone Fishin'

This is Bryce.  He is a very kind 14 year old boy that lives in a neighboring ward.  He knows everything there is to know about fishing.  Almost every day, we see him over here in the ponds across the street from our home with his rod and reel.  He can't get enough of it. 
So I had an  idea.  
 I asked Bryce if he would be willing to teach a "fishing clinic" to some of the cub scouts in my ward.
 Lucky us!  He was more than happy too.  
 He taught those boys a little bit of everything.  He taught them about the different fish on our pond.  What they liked to eat.
 He taught them how to set up a rod and reel and put the bait on the hook.
 He taught them how to catch little fish called "Brim" and then cut them up and use them as bait to catch the bigger fish.  The boys really enjoyed that part.

 And they loved every minute of it.

 Now a bunch of little cub scouts get to earn fishing belt loops and activity pins.  I have seen several of them over here since Bryce's clinic with their families fishing.  
Thanks Bryce for sharing your time, talent, and love of fishing with these boys!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener | Rachel Cruze

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener | Rachel Cruze

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Direct Blessings of Tithing

When Brent was ill all those years, it had a devastating effect on our savings.  There were lots of medications, diagnostic tests, procedures that weren't covered by insurance because they were "experimental".  After all, when you have tried EVERYTHING within protocol, and that hasn't "fixed" the problem, you are willing to try ANYTHING.  In addition, his earning potential went down during much of that time.  Can you imagine trying to be a productive salesman when you feel like you have an incessant spike in the center of your head?
So for the last two years we have been on a bit of a self-imposed spending freeze.  Meaning, we assess needs vs. wants and have pretty much agreed to not make any large purchases (unless they were a NEED), or go on any extravagant vacations until we feel like we have covered a lot of the financial ground we want to recoup.  It was a decision that we both have felt good about and have stuck pretty fiercely to.

Lately, however, I have found myself getting frustrated.  He has several really large deals in his pipeline that would pretty much eliminate our spending freeze if he could get them closed quickly.  Mind you, the more expensive the product is that you sell, the longer the sales cycle seems to be.  I have no reason - except my impatience- to think things are progressing slower than normal.  It is just my eager anticipation that is making it seem that way.

Lately, I felt like we take one step forward and then one step back with some of the unforeseen expenses we have had crop up.  Keep in mind that while we are trying to freeze our major spending, we are also paying for one child in college and her housing as well as paying to get another one ready for a two year mission for our church.  It has been expensive.

About a week after I mentioned to Brent that I felt like the blessings weren't really flowing our way for paying our tithing and a generous fast offering, something interesting started happening.  

It started on a Saturday.  I was in need of 4 new tires for my car.  We decided to scout around and see if we could find some used tires that were in good shape at a drastic discount.  The very first tire shop we pulled into had a pair of 4 matching almost new tires that were sold to us for about 40% of what it would have cost us if they were purchased new.  And they were in fantastic shape!  As I was sitting in the tire shop, waiting for them to be installed on my car, I had a thought, a whispering really,  come into my mind.  "This is a direct blessing for paying a full tithe."   

It happened again a week later.  With Brent's new calling, he is wearing a suit 3 to 4 times a week.  We realized that he needed some new suits and several of his old ones were not (ahem) well fitting like they used to.  Having bought two new suits for Tanner recently, I knew this might be a big expense but one that to a certain extent, he needed.

No one but us knew this.

Low and behold 3 days later a a sweet personal friend (with great taste in suits) who is not even a member of our church (but is married to one) came over, SPONTANEOUSLY, with 6 suits in hand and offered them up to us.  He said he was cleaning out his closet and knew he would never fit into them again no matter how hard he tried and he wanted them to be put to good use.  Every single suit fit..  Perfectly. No alterations needed.  Again, as he was trying the suits on I had a whispering again, "this is a direct blessing for being a full tithe payer."

That happened several times over the last few months.  Sometimes it was finding a really great deal on items for Tanner's mission, or a lower than typical utility bill, or a higher than normal commission check.

I think more often than not we never know what blessings we receive that are directly tied to the law of tithing.  But I am grateful for this tender mercy that has happened in my life for the last few months.  I think I needed to know I was being blessed for being obedient.  I think it has made me more keenly aware of the love Heavenly Father has for me and my family.  

I remember one time a returned missionary who came home and reported to the Stake Council.  He shared something that his mission president had promised them when baptisms were low as well as morale.  He said, "when we are obedient we can expect blessings, when we are STRICTLY obedient, we can expect miracles."  I have never forgotten that.  Now I can say that I have experienced it.  So grateful for the gospel perspective and a loving Father in Heaven who reminds me of that when I need it most.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Court of Honor

I just want to go ahead and admit here, now that I had nothing to do with any of the cuteness of this Court of Honor.  I did this with my cute friends, Sheri and Lori, and they are quite the event planners!  But it was pretty amazing that we got these boys to consent to do a ceremony for their Eagle.  Noe of them really wanted to.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

May 2014 according to my iphone

Oh my goodness gracious!  What a month!  LOTS of changes.  More than I think we have ever had in such a short period of time.  In just a few weeks we were in a newly created ward, with a new Bishop, a new Stake, with a new stake president, new callings, end of the year award ceremonies, mission calls and lots of mission shopping and preparation, and that's just the beginning.  I'm still not really sure how I feel about all this change...
 Brent was called to be the 2nd counselor with President Platt.  We love this man and had our own promptings that he would be our new stake's President.  He will be absolutely fantastic and we will learn alot from him.

I love this cute meme that I saw on instagram and I thought it described me perfectly.
 Tyler (closed eyes and all) and Amy came over to celebrate with us when Tanner opened his mission call.
 Cheerleaders gathered for the last pep rally of the year when the incoming 7th graders came over for a visit to Reynolds.
 This picture basically expresses how I am feeling this month.  Did I mention that my son is leaving to go on a mission in less than two months?  For two years.  I wont see him for two years.  And I absolutely adore him.  
 I came across this quote and loved it as a definition of humility.
 Tanner had his court of honor.  More on that at a later date.

 I just wanted to add this random pic because he is cute and he makes me laugh.
 Had the WORST MOTHER'S DAY EVER.  I won't go into detail but let's just say with all the changes going on in our home - it went somewhat unheralded and it was lousy.  I got these the next day.  Very sweet.
 I don't mean to have this post be all about quotes but a friend called for some advice about resolving a conflict and how to handle it and I saw this on the internet the very next day.  I sent it to her and think it's a great reminder for me too.
 I am not very creative but I was pretty proud of myself that I made these cute little baptism handouts for a cute little friend who was getting baptized.  Thanks to Pinterest.
 I did however, have the honor of being in charge of the pillow treats for yw camp.  This is what I ended up doing...
 (back - I love this quote)
 And I also gave them a cd of President Packer's talk "Spiritual Crocodiles" with these cute gummy crocodiles.  Our overall theme for camp was "It's a Jungle Out There" so it was appropriate.
 A friend (thanks Lisa!) helped me put this cute cheer gift together for my girls to give to their "cheer sisses".
 I think they had fun at the "Must Stash" activity they did.  They went and shopped for a stash of food that our sweet new Bishop could put in his office to help him get through those long hours. 
 Had lunch with a very dear friend I have known for almost 40 years.  I am so grateful for this man.  He has been a great father figure in my life, throughout my life.
 Took Memomie out to dinner for her 87th birthday.
 Got this text from Tanner and Kade during the last week of school.  Being a senior is tough, huh?
I am loving the red headed hostesses scripture study ideas on her web site.  I highly recommend!!!

 This cute gal earned the Principal's Award.  So proud of her.  Beauty and brains.

 And her cute friend, Taylor got it too.  Taylor and Reagan were part of the reach team this year too.  Reach is a club that the school counselors put together to do service throughout the school and the community.  
 Had our first cheer social of the schoolyear.

Well that about does it.  Lots more coming in June! Stay tuned.